Category Archives: Mom’s life

Random things I learned today

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After all the craziness with the kids’ schedule over the past few weeks, it was so nice to finally have the house to myself again today. It was the first “normal” day we’ve had around here for a while.

On my normal, uneventful day I learned:

1.Honey flavored yogurt is not for me. I like yogurt and I like honey, but when I tasted them together I was not impressed. Lately I’ve been following the Greek yogurt craze. I get that one claim to fame of Greek yogurt is that it has less of the sour flavor of regular yogurt. I definitely like that. But…when you add an overwhelming honey flavor on top of the semi-sweet Greek yogurt, it was just way too sweet for me.

2. I find Thin Mints to be rather repulsive. I know…repulsive is a strong word…but they’re just not my style. I know that as one who dislikes Thin Mints that I am in the minority. However, in my house I am not. We never order Thin Mints because none of us like them….until this year when my son expressed an interest in them. So, as I sat here today and opened the box for him, I actually found myself kind of disgusted by the smell. Tommy, on the other hand, LOVES that he gets the whole box to himself.

3.If I ever had to go on a diet that involved restricting my carb intake, I would die. Ok…so death is a bit extreme, but it would really suck. Today when I was at the grocery store I was drawn to the bakery section by the smell of freshly baked bread. (Of course, it didn’t help that I skipped breakfast.) I bought some bread to go with the soup I’m making tonight, but I also bought another small baguette-like bread. When I got to the car, I put all the groceries in the back except for that baguette which I took up front, tore a chunk off and proceeded to eat it right there in the parking lot. What can I say? Carbs are my weakness!

I love that today was so utterly uneventful that I had time to notice, ponder and smile about these little things.

Need for routine

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I think I’ll just cut to the chase with this…

I hate when the kids have too many days off of school.

When they have a Friday off, I have to try to get more things done earlier in the week so that I don’t have to drag them around on all of my Friday errands. It disrupts my exercise routine as well. This also means that I miss out on my “me” time. I’ve learned in the past few months just how important my “me” time is for my overall well-being. Even if it is just a mere 20 minutes to sit in the house, alone, and do whatever it is I want…I really need to have “me” time. When they have Monday off, I don’t have that last day to finish up my own homework for Tuesday. I also miss out on my “me” time there too. I typically end up saving my grocery shopping trip til Wednesday, which totally messes with the menu for the week. When they go and give the kids a 1/2 day Thursday, off Friday and off Monday, then that messes with everything.

My daily routine at home is all out of whack. Their daily routine at school is all out of whack. Not to mention that this weekend we were visiting my in-laws, so I have a whole weekend of housework that I’m behind on. So yes, I was happy to send them off to school this morning. Even though I had school as well, at least they were re-entering their routine. umm…no. This was just enough of a break that it is going to take them the rest of this week to readjust back to the routine. That means a week of poor home to school communication, lost papers, forgotten belongings, etc.

The first 3 weeks back from winter break were all short weeks (4 days, 4 1/2 days, 4 days). They had 2 entire 5 day weeks before having last week and this week all messed up again. Maybe it just seems worse now, but I don’t remember their schedules being so choppy in the fall.

We’ve known for a long time that Tommy needs structure and routine. Now I’m starting to see that Anna and I need it nearly as much as he does. On days like today, I feel like someone pushed our reset button and we lost “unsaved information”.

A note from your beloved dog

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Dear Mommy,

Thank you so much for taking me on such a nice long walk today. It was just what I needed after being stuck in the house while you were at school yesterday. I know you didn’t want to go out on such a gloomy, dreary day but I’m really glad you did. Thank you for taking that fall to avoid stepping on me when I ran right in front of you. Thank you for brushing yourself off and continuing the walk instead of turning around and taking me home. I’m sorry that I wrapped us around a tree while I was barking at those dogs in their yard. I tried to be good…really I did…but I just get so excited when I see other dogs.

I know you thought that 3.5 miles was enough to wear me out, but I don’t really feel all that tired right now. Will you please consider taking me on an even longer walk next week? I hear that my friends walk 4-5 miles every day.

Your favorite pup,

Porter

Things are looking up

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When I finished my post about Tommy’s sleep issues the other day, I looked down to find him sound asleep on the family room floor…right there at m feet. So yes, the lack of sleep did finally catch up with him. Now, was his problem magically solved? No.

Saturday night and Monday night were both a bit rough. Thankfully though, he woke up Tuesday morning looking refreshed and eager to go to school. I can’t say the same about Anna, but that’s another story. Last night he only came out of his room once, which is a huge improvement. At this point I’d say that I am cautiously optimistic. Time to get working on that new and improved bedtime routine!

Another thing I’ve noticed is that Anna has been stirring up trouble at night. OK…to be completely honest, she’s been stirring up trouble for most of break, but at night it has more of an impact on Tommy. She gets goofy, starts acting up and that just pushes his buttons. So, as we revamp the bedtime routine it will definitely involve keeping them separate after a certain point. Tommy simply cannot settle himself if she’s running around like a goofball.

Its so nice to be returning to normal around here!

Mommy…I can’t sleep

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A phrase I’ve heard way too much of lately.

Seriously…I’ve heard it at least once a night on 12 of the last 14 nights from the same child.

Since right before winter break started, Tommy has been having trouble getting to sleep. This is not uncommon in children with ADHD, and we’ve seen it before. And yes, if he takes his medication too late in the day, that will also make it more likely to happen. We also know that Tommy really needs structure and routine, so we’ve kept bedtime the same for the break. Other than going to school, we’ve done everything we can to preserve his normal schedule over break.

I’ve consulted many sources regarding how to help my child sleep. We keep bedtime the same every night. He’s not allowed to have chocolate after dinner. Dessert has to be done a certain amount time before bedtime. We play a CD of ocean waves as white noise to fill the room. Recently, I also read advice that parents not dismiss their child’s sleeping difficulties. (Apparently its common for parents to just tell their kid to be quiet and go to sleep.) I definitely don’t dismiss them. I know that his sleep issues are real. I have them myself. I’ve told him this, and I’ve taught him all of my best relaxation techniques that I use. Muscle relaxation exercises, deep breathing, counting, even getting back up and writing/drawing what’s in his head to get it out. A shower before bedtime doesn’t really seem to calm him. We’ve also tried some of the calming activities that he learned in OT.

Now, I must admit that our bedtime routine isn’t fantastic, but we try. Plus, the routine has been rough for quite some time…not a new development. So, the questions still remain unanswered…what is the trigger that has caused this to happen recently? What the heck am I going to do about it? At this point, he’s lost anywhere from 1-2 hours of sleep every night since school got out. He’s still waking up at pretty much his normal time, so the lack of sleep HAS to be catching up with him.

I really don’t know what else to do to help him. I’m afraid that when he goes back to school next week he’s going to be a complete and total wreck. Sure, maybe going back to school and resuming a completely normal schedule will help set him straight. But, if it doesn’t “fix” his issues, then what?

At this point, I dread bedtime. I know that it is the beginning of a nearly 2 hour time period of me going up and down the stairs every 20 minutes. When he thinks he’s tried “everything” to get to sleep, he climbs out of bed, turns on his light, comes out into the hallway, turns on the hall light and yells down to me…”mommy…I can’t sleep.” I keep telling him that getting out of bed and turning on all the lights is just restarting the whole process, but he just won’t tolerate laying in bed unable to sleep.

I don’t have a magic mommy button, and I haven’t the foggiest idea what to do to fix this.

Looking a bit like Christmas around here

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Slowly but surely, we will get the Christmas decorating done this year. Free time is pretty scarce these days, so the decorating is getting done a bit at a time. There have also been a few speed bumps that have slowed our progress.

This year, we hit the ground running by putting the lights up on the garage way back on a warm Saturday in November. Since returning from Thanksgiving, decorations have been going up bit by bit both inside and outside of the house. Sure, I’d love to have them all done, but with all that we have going on these days just seeing progress is enough for me.

We got the tree up the Monday after Thanksgiving, but it stood with only its pre-attached lights, for a whole week. This past Monday night we were able to get the ornaments out and actually start decorating it. Even before putting any ornaments on, we went ahead with getting the topper situated. (Its a big tree, so the ladder almost has to go in the tree in order to reach the top, which always disturbs the ornaments.) The kids take turns and each year one of them gets to help daddy with the tree topper. He used to actually hold them on the ladder, but they’re too big for that now.  It used to look like this:

This year was Tommy’s turn:

So with a the topper in place it was time for ornaments. Oh wait…I forgot to mention one little thing. While Aaron was adjusting the topper to get it just right, I heard a disturbing crack. I looked up to see Aaron holding the snowflake, with the base of the topper still attached to the tree. My topper was now in 2 pieces.

Everything stopped.

I’m not kidding.

I literally froze in my tracks, jaw to the floor, staring at my precious tree topper. Christmas traditions are a big deal to me, and that topper has been on every tree that Aaron and I have ever had, and I was looking forward to it being on many trees to come. What’s funny is that I had always imagined its demise coming by the hands of a child, perhaps shattered to pieces on the tile floor. This was certainly not the ending I would’ve predicted.

Did I want Aaron to try to fix it? Not really, because it wouldn’t be the same. Did I want to get a new one? No.

I dried my tears and we went ahead with putting ornaments on the tree. The next evening Anna and I went out in search of a new topper. Before we left, Aaron reminded me that he had always wanted an angel atop the tree. I don’t have any problem with angels on my tree...but I was still hoping to find another snowflake. As we walked out the door, Anna said “maybe we could find an angel and a snowflake together.” Cute thought from my ever optimistic little princess. Two stores and 3 phone calls later, Anna and I returned home with new topper. She was totally hooked on it, but I needed some convincing.

Here’s’ what we picked out. You can’t tell from this picture, but the angel is actually holding a snowflake in the little fiber optic light in her hand. Guess Anna knew what she was talking about.

So, the angel is on the tree and it is great to have the tree finished. Do I like the topper? Sure. Do I love the topper? Not yet. I just don’t feel any attachment yet. I’m sure she’ll grow on me over time. In the meantime, I’m glad that everyone else likes it.

The happy ending to my story…here’s our pretty tree:

(try to ignore all the junk around it.)

Thank you Shutterfly!

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When it comes to Christmas cards, I’m a creature of habit. I get the kids all dolled up in their Christmas clothes and take anywhere from 45-60 shots of them standing on the stairs or in front of the Christmas tree. This involves a lot of time, crabbiness from them, and stress for me. If I’m lucky, I get 2 or 3 good ones to choose from.

This year I didn’t really feel like going through all the drama. I had seen a note on the kids’ school pictures about a promo of some sort from Shutterfly I decided to take a look and see what they had. I liked what I saw right off the bat on their website. I had a ton of fun playing around with several different card styles…putting various pictures in, changing them around, tweaking things till they looked awesome. Here’s what we’re going with this year:

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Overall, I’d say this was definitely the way to go. Much less stressful for me and no crabbiness from the kids. It would’ve been less time too, but I just couldn’t resist checking out all of my options.